OSHA is seeking comments on a draft document intended to help employers develop a program to protect employees from retaliation when they raise concerns about workplace conditions or activities that could harm workers or members of the public.
Titled “Protecting Whistleblowers: Recommended Practices for Employers for Preventing and Addressing Retaliation,” the guidance document will help employers create a non-retaliatory environment in the workplace and will provide practical guidance on protecting whistleblower rights for public, private and non-profit employers. OSHA says the document contains sections on how to ensure leadership commitment, foster an anti-retaliation culture, respond to reports of retaliation, conduct anti-retaliation training and monitor Progress and Program Improvement.
The draft document is based on recommendations of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee in its document, "Best Practices for Protecting Whistleblowers and Preventing and Addressing Retaliation".
The Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the OSH Act.
OSHA says it is specifically interested in comments related to ensuring that:
-Anti-retaliation concepts are described clearly
-Important features of an anti-retaliation program are included
-Challenges in implementing these practices are addressed
-Issues specific to small businesses are addressed
Comments will be accepted through Jan. 19, 2016 and should be submitted to www.regulations.gov using the docket number OSHA-2015-0025.